Honoring Our Heroes
Four fallen veterans to be honored at Nov. 9 Veterans’ Day event
New bronze sculpture to be unveiled
at Veterans Cemetery
(November 2018) – Madison, Ind., has proudly saluted veterans throughout the year, as exemplified by the installation of Commemorative Veterans Banners in May, the correction of the inscription on the Maj. Samuel Woodfill memorial at the Jefferson County Courthouse and the recent dedication of Woodfill sculpture at the Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery in October. Two special events in November will be held to recognize Veterans Day (also known as “Armistice Day”).
On Thursday, Nov. 8, the City of Madison will honor its “Hometown Heroes” during a special event at the Brown Gym. Organized by Narci Burress, Seniors Program Director, the event includes a lite dinner of pizza, hot wings and other foods served at 6 p.m. to all attendees. The food is provided at no charge through the generosity of local individuals and businesses.
This rendition shows what the future Indiana Veterans Cemetery memorial will look like.
The annual Veterans Program will begin at 6:45 p.m., featuring local veterans and government officials, including Mayor Damon Welch and Councilman Ray Denning. Members of the Community Band, directed by Mark Johnson, will perform patriotic music, followed by special guest, Jason Ray Welsh. Welsh is a musician, model, actor and retired and disabled Army veteran of the 76th IBCT 1-152 Alpha Troop Unit in Madison. He currently resides in Myrtle Beach, S. C. He is traveling to Madison specifically to honor local veterans with his unique performance.
• For more information about this event, contact Manning at (812) 801-7882.
All participating veterans’ names will be read during a special roll call. Burress said that the highlight of the event in 2017 was the presentation of a high school diploma to a World War II veteran in recognition of his service. In her role as Seniors Program Director, Burress promotes the federal program that provides a diploma from the veteran’s original high school to any service member who enlisted prior to graduation.
On Friday, Nov. 9, at 11 a.m., the Indiana Veterans Cemetery is playing host to a ceremony and tribute to four local soldiers who were killed in action during their military service. The Jefferson County Veterans Council has ordered a bronze sculpture depicting the Fallen Soldier Battle Cross (boots, rifle, helmet), which will be dedicated and installed along the Memorial Road beside the POW/MIA memorial and the Woodfill bust. This memorial is being dedicated to these original four soldiers as well as any future soldiers who may be killed in action. The base of the memorial will have individual bricks with the name of each soldier.
The four soldiers being recognized this year are PFC Manley Winkley, USMC WW II; SGT Clyde Carter, U.S. Army Korea; TSGT Donald Hoskins, USAF Vietnam; and SPC Jonathan Menke, U.S. Army, Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).
The Fallen Soldier Battle Cross is a symbolic replacement of a cross or marker placed on the battlefield or at the base camp for a soldier who has been killed. The soldier’s rifle is planted, barrel-first, into their boots. Their helmet is placed atop the rifle, marking the grave on the battlefield. The origin stems from the Civil War, where soldiers were hastily buried between battles. The rifle is stabbed into the ground to mark their final resting place. Anything that identified the fallen soldier was placed on the rifle so others would know who was buried there.
• Winkley (born Sept. 17, 1923) died on Nov 20, 1943, at age 20 in the Battle of Tarawa in the Marshall Islands of the Pacific Ocean. That battle is remembered as the toughest battle in Marine Corps history. The troops stormed ashore in the face of Japanese machine gun fire. They persisted and won the battle after 76 hours of intense fighting. The battle was of great strategic significance because of the important bases in those islands. His remains were returned to the United states in 2013 to be buried back home at the Indiana Veterans Cemetery.
• Carter (born March 23, 1933) died on Dec 31, 1953, at age 20 at the battle at Chosin reservoir in North Korea. He served in Company 1, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. The battle is remembered as a brutal 17-day conflict in freezing weather. He was buried in Korea but is honored by a marker in the Indiana Veterans Cemetery. He was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, Korean Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Purple Heart, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Republic of Korea War Service Medal and the United Nations Service Medal.
• Hoskins (born Jan. 6, 1929) was a flight engineer who was shot down in Vietnam on while on a night re-supply mission near An Loc City, South Vietnam. His aircraft was struck by hostile ground fire and crashed. He was reported missing in action on April 26, 1972, and remained in that status for 34 years. His remains were positively identified in April 2006, and he was returned home to Indiana for burial. Hoskins had served his country for 21 years.
• Menke (born July 18, 1986), was killed in action on Aug. 4, 2008, in Bagdad, Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom, serving in the 38th Military Police Company, 95th Battalion, 18th Brigade with the Danville, Ind., Unit. Menke was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, Global War On Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon, and the Combat Action badge.
Alan Burnham, superintendent of the Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery, is organizing the Veterans’ Day event. Burnham further credited the work of the staff, saying, “Cemetery staff considers their work a ministry to serve the families of veterans with care and respect at their point of need. They take pride in their work and maintenance of the building and cemetery grounds.”
With the exception of the four soldiers honored this year, all other veterans buried in the Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery at this time were not killed in action but are buried here out of respect for their service.
Allen Manning is one of 10 people serving on the Jefferson County Veterans Council. He explained that the Veterans Council has raised the necessary funds to complete all of the memorial projects this year. Local individuals and businesses have generously supported the Veterans Council.
Donations are always needed to continue to honor and recognize local veterans each year. Donations can be sent to Jefferson County Veterans Council at P.O. Box 302, Hanover, IN 47243.
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